Simon Jordan

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Simon Jordan (born 24 September 1967, Thornton Heath, United Kingdom) is the chairman of Crystal Palace Football Club, a football club who are, as of the 2007-2008 season, in The Championship, the second level of English football.



On the problems in football

  • "I'm not going to drag it out or make a point, because points are pointless." (Simon confuses us all with his logic)

On Ecuadorian journeyman Iván Kaviedes' departure from Selhurst Park

  • "Iván Kaviedes has played in five countries in the last twelve months....... including Crystal Palace." (Clearly Crystal Palace is now separate from the rest of the British Isles now, eh Simon?)

Humourous/Philosophical Comments

On the Mark Goldberg saga

  • "In reality there are bigger architects of our historic problems than Venables, he was an opportunist who took advantage of a situation, for bigger culprits looking at previous Chairmen might be more appropriate."
  • (When speaking about Ron Noades not knowing he had sold Selhurst Park to Jordan} "That's not a surprise though as he didn't know who he was selling the club to six and a half years ago."

On agents

  • "Football is a bullshit world. Agents are nasty scum. They're evil and divisive and pointless. They only survive because the rest of the sport is so corrupt and because leading football club people employ their sons in the job."
  • "In my opinion, no owner in their right mind would willingly invite an average agent into his academy, any more than a brothel owner would let a syphilitic nutter into his brothel."
  • "I don't vilify agents as a species. I vilify bad agents. If an agent does a good job for me then I will pay him - but I don't deal with players' agents or agents employed by other clubs. I invested in First Artists for two reasons; first, I thought they might be a good investment and I could make a few bob, and secondly because I've fired my bullets off at a lot of other agents and I needed to have a relationship with one."

On players diving

  • "Diving could be eliminated if you have proper officials. By that, I mean linesmen who do their jobs instead of flagging down planes or whatever it is they do."

On tapping-up

  • "Last summer's record tapping fines - £300,000 to Chelsea, £75,000 to Ashley Cole and £75,000 to José Mourinho - were nominal in the context of their finances. The problem is that there's nothing beyond the unwritten code of decent behaviour to restrain press briefings. The one area where a spot of FA censorship would actually make sense is the one area that doesn't cause a flicker of interest in their media-monitoring bunker."

On referees

  • "The result of all this moist-eyed, village-idiot sentimentality is men like Brian Curson, our referee at Reading in midweek. No doubt he's a human, emotional, decent man. But is he someone who should be in charge of top-level football games?... Here's a brief guide to why the answer is bloody well no. I've seen the full range of referees in 30 years of watching Palace: some really good, even Uriah Rennie pulls off a cracking performance occasionally, and some poor. All are inconsistent. On Tuesday Curson made himself a whole new category."

On his FA disciplinary hearing, caused by the above remarks

  • "We then moved on to a cross-examination from their QC, an unexpected extension of his role as adviser to the panel. He decided to focus, at length, on words and their many meanings. He asked me what I meant when I said I thought my article was 'pragmatic'? I asked what he thought I meant, and the chairman said 'answer the question'. I accused the QC of meaningless semantics, so he asked me: 'What do you mean by semantics?' He wasn't joking."
  • "The FA consider that a chairman speaking out is more of an offence against the system than a player using abusive language in the heat of the moment during a game.
  • "The FA have charged me with improper conduct, which makes me sound like some sort of pervert"
  • "They're saying a chairman should know better and act in a manner more in accordance with their own role - but that's bullshit."
  • "Everyone has a right to speak out against certain issues within the game, especially football club chairmen and benefactors."
  • "I'm getting censored for things I say yet they're denying my basic right to freedom of speech.
  • "When I became a football club owner I don't remember hanging my freedom of speech hat on the door and agreeing not to talk anymore."

On players and fans

  • "It's the fans that I love. They're the heart of the sport. I remember driving back after Palace lost to Reading a couple of years ago, and David, this disabled guy, was walking to the station on crutches. I picked him up and drove him back to London. I sat there the whole time thinking how much I hated the players for not representing people like him properly. I hated them for not winning and making this guy's life better. When I think about what people like him contribute and what agents and players take out of football, it drives me nuts"

On the influence of the media

  • "In terms of the credibility the papers have in dressing rooms, I've had players arguing their worth based on the marks out of 10 they get in The Sun."

On the G-14 group of clubs

  • "The cream will always rise to the top and in every industry you will have an elite, and there's nothing wrong with that, you have something to strive for. All the money in English football goes to the Premiership. If you're a Championship club you would say more of it should be shared around. The Football League chairman Sir Brian Mawhinney has come up with all these initiatives, but the problem he has is that nobody wants to play in the Championship."

'On Chelsea's spending power

  • "There was a lot said about Chelsea's financial state when Roman Abramovich took over, that they supposed to be close to bankruptcy. But if they were a cash-poor club, they were rich in assets. I think Manchester United have got a cheek having a go at the way Chelsea have spent money. Manchester United have been buying £30m and £20m players for years, and also paying £15m for teenagers. All that's happened is that Chelsea have spent a similar amount in a shorter time to catch up. Manchester United should stop whining. Two years ago everyone was whining because the transfer market was suppressed. Now it's over-priced because of Chelsea and people are still moaning."

On leaving football and the state of the game

  • "I've been in football for six years, I find it ultimately to be a disingenuous and dishonest game. I'm certainly not in it for the money. If we are promoted it will cost £5m before we start in players' bonuses. Even if we make it to the play-offs and get no further, it will cost me personally £200,000. I'll get out when I've stabilised Palace in the Premiership, in a new stadium and when somebody comes along who can take it further. But there's never going to be a queue for that."

On other chairmen

  • "There is a school of thought that says the best chairmen are the quietest ones but I think that is a load of bollocks. I think that football is changing and football is a big business now and big businesses are run by big businessmen not football managers or players."
  • "I don’t give a fuck about football protocol and the other club owners. They want me to sit and have lunch before the games. Fuck that. I don’t go to football to drink chardonnay in the boardrooms with those tossers. I go to win games. I don’t have anything in common with 90% of football club chairmen. They don't interest me."
  • "I see other club's chairmen as the enemy."
  • "(Arsenal vice-chairman) David Dein is the kind of person who will do you favours that you just don't want."
  • "Every time I see David Dein at a social event he has got a player for me who has probably got one leg and he will do me a favour by letting me have him for twice the price."

On the big clubs

  • "I'm no respecter of tradition and I have no time for the Manchester Uniteds and Arsenals of this world. There’s nothing to admire in these clubs. They're just bullshit worlds full of bullshit people."

On Alan Pardew

  • "Admirable, really. Good PR: it made Alan Pardew seem a little less like Ian Beale for a day and a little more like a paragon of virtue."

On Birmingham City

  • "Birmingham - my favourite club, full of my favourite people."
  • "If I see another David Gold interview on the poor East End Jewish boy done good I'll impale myself on one of his dildos."
  • "They recently berated their players after they lost to Liverpool in the FA Cup, but what is David Sullivan trying to achieve? He was venting his spleen but what does that do?"
  • "Yes, I can empathise with his frustrations: they'd just been beaten 7-0. The fact that I was dancing round the room laughing doesn't mean I can't understand the exasperation."
  • "Let's be clear about this. Birmingham have not spoken to anyone senior at Palace, haven't made a bid, haven't made an enquiry (on buying then Palace star-striker Andy Johnson). They haven't been told we'll sell him in the summer - they haven't been told anything. Sullivan has misled the press, his fans and ours, all - I'm guessing - in a sad attempt to make Birmingham look ambitious. It sums up the club - and its owners' routinely ridiculous conduct."
  • "They don't tell the truth and I wouldn't sell them a packet of crisps".

On Palace reaching 8th position in Division One under Trevor Francis, a year after narrowly avoiding relegation

  • "I have heard that inside football the perception of Palace this season is we have over achieved. I am not sure about you but I believe that is utter crap".

On Bobby Robson

  • "People sympathise with Bobby Robson that it took Newcastle eight months to pay his £2.1m compensation - but with respect, what was it for?"

On Craig Bellamy's disciplinary issues, his big mouth, and how he'd deal with it all

  • "I'd fucking strangle him with his own tongue."

On Roy Keane's split with Manchester United

  • "There are two things you don't do with a player who you think is about to lose it in public. One, you don't interview him on your in-house corporate TV station. Two, if you mess up point one, you don't then try to suppress his comments, bury the tape and convince yourself it won't be leaked, or that the player will love you for it."

On Dave Bassett rejecting the Palace job

  • "Dave Bassett has said he could not work with me and he is right. He is a dinosaur whose time has gone.

On Charlton Athletic

On Charlton fans

  • "In retrospect, of course I regret calling them morons. Imbeciles would have been more appropriate."

On suing Iain Dowie

  • "I would not issue a writ through my lawyers on a point of principle, I will issue it on a point of law because a point of principle is expensive, as Iain will find out."
  • "I may be many things, but I am not a liar. I have read recent articles in that 'rag' the [London] Evening Standard printing Dowie's version of events. I am not launching a petty crusade, neither am I allowing the piss to be taken out of myself or Palace."

On the conduct of Charlton in the Dowie saga compared with Palace's appointment of Peter Taylor

  • "There was a £300,000 compensation clause (in the contract of Peter Taylor as manager of Hull City) and I paid it because I do things properly unlike some people. I don't try to nick managers. Maybe other people do."

On Charlton dismissing Dowie after just thirteen league games

On Charlton's "rent-a-fan" scheme

  • "Charlton have a cheap matchday coach service that goes out into Kent to nick Gillingham fans - that's pretty clever. We might start sending a coach to Brighton."

On Mark Hudson's Bosman transfer to Charlton Athletic

  • "If people don't want to play for your football club you can't make them."

On the proposed signing of Tim Cahill from Millwall

  • "I had agreed £2m (for Tim Cahill) with Millwall, which would obviously fund their whole season and their two weeks in Europe."

On Aki Riihilahti

  • "Aki Riihilahti, a ridiculous person in the best possible way - committed, brilliant work ethic, bit bonkers and totally engaging."

On Andy Johnson

  • "At the end of last season when we were relegated we managed to keep an England striker. Regardless of whether we go up or not, AJ will be at Palace next season if I choose for him to be there. Keeping him will be as hard as we want to make it, loyalty is reciprocal. I gave Andrew a lot and I was entitled to something back. All the speculation about him this season has been just that. His agent turned his head a little, but we nuked him in about five seconds. Every contract I've negotiated with Andrew takes five minutes. Besides, I don't think there are many clubs who could match the valuation I would put on him." (Speaking during the 2005-06 season about Andy Johnson's future at Palace - despite Jordan's comments, Johnson was sold to Everton)
  • "People say it's part and parcel of the game, but it's not and shouldn't be allowed to continue. Diving could be eliminated if you have proper officials. I mean linesmen who do their jobs instead of flagging down planes or whatever it is they do. I think players who dive should be sent off, given a straight red. It would only take a few dismissals to stamp it out. Andrew Johnson has been given this reputation as a player who dives but that's ridiculous. He gets clocked every week and doesn't get penalties. He would score far more goals if he didn't get pulled down." (Regarding Johnson's reputation as a cheat)

On Andrew Johnson's agent, Leon Angel

  • "I'm going to report him for being a wanker."

On John Bostock's move to Tottenham Hotspur

  • "I never for one instance thought Bostock was going to go anywhere else because I was told from the whites of his father's eyes that he was signing for Palace, that he was a Palace fan, his dad's a Palace fan, they're season ticket holders..."
  • "It comes down to pounds, shillings and pence like everything in this miserable game." (Speaking about Bostock's tribunal after Spurs announced the signing prematurely.)
  • "Bostock was one of the best players my academy has produced in the last 10 years and he has been sold for a packet of crisps."
  • "What this does is send out a message that academies and youth development policies are not worth investing in because perceived bigger clubs can come along at any time and do what the hell they like."

On his managers

On Steve Coppell

  • "I don’t not get on with Steve Coppell, we are just different people. I wouldn’t have him round for a dinner party and I am sure he wouldn’t have me round to his place but I do not consider him an enemy."

On Alan Smith

  • "I got on well with him but then he took liberties with me and I don’t have a lot of time for him now."

On Steve Bruce

  • "What happened between us - his decision to walk out on a two-year contract after three months, and my decision to injunct him - is well-documented, up to a point. Since it happened, Steve has made references in the press to the 'real reasons' he left, implying something went on at Palace that justified his decision to walk and that some sort of gagging order is keeping him quiet.
  • "There were no 'reasons'. There was no 'something'. People assume he's talking about interference, about me going into the dressing room. I've done that once in five years, long before Bruce's time. I'm blamed for not supporting his transfers, but only ever blocked two: a player called Arkadiusz Bąk who we'd had bad reports about (Bruce subsequently signed Bak for Birmingham, then got rid of him after two months for being awful) and Steve Vickers, who wanted to sign for us, but live in Middlesbrough, train with Middlesbrough and only pop down to London on Thursdays."

On Trevor Francis

  • "I am invited to Trevor’s son’s wedding this weekend. I am good friends with Trevor and close to his family. You do not have those sorts of friendships if you are a pig to work for."

On Steve Kember

  • "I have no problem with Steve now and we get on fine."

On Iain Dowie

  • "He's a leader. He's strong. We clash and there are chairs through windows. He can be aggressive, because good leaders are. He's the only true leader I’ve met in football."
  • "He was responsible for one of the most cash-consuming businesses that I have. He was the person that I trusted implicitly — as much as you can trust anyone in football."

On Peter Taylor

  • "He is a fabulous coach and as a manager he suffers very little indiscipline, as you can see from the players who play for him."
  • "If you believe in someone you should give them enough opportunities to do the right thing."

On Neil Warnock

  • "I know I have the right man - it is the dream ticket. We both say what we mean and we mean what we say."

On his plans to sell the club

  • "I wouldn't want to sell the club to someone who'd fuck it up."
  • "I am not de-motivated by the team, manager or fans. But I have been disillusioned with football for a long time."
  • "I kept my sanity by pumping millions of pounds into my academy, feeling the saving grace of my club was finding players who would be chomping at the bit and honoured to play in the first team but that's been taken away from me as well."

On himself

  • "I'm nearly 40. What do I have? I mean, really. Everyone has inner feelings about themselves that no one else knows about. Mine aren’t all that good. I don't believe I’m a success. I don't believe I've achieved anything that matters. I've been guilty of seeing myself in other people's eyes and trying to live up to that image - predominantly my father’s image of me. He thinks I’m a racehorse. He thinks I can do anything. I hope I can. I hope I don't let him down."
  • "I was always a smartarse at school. I got expelled and think my attitude since has been one of complete self-belief. It doesn't feel very nice to have fuck all and be a loser."
  • "I do get tired of seemingly being criticised/accused all the time for everything, even down to being the second gunman in the grassy knoll in Dallas."
  • "There'll always be some who don't like me - even if I built a 50,000 seat stadium and bought Ronaldinho there'd still be complaints about crap hot dogs."
  • "If people take liberties I will defend my position."
  • "If I start something, it's because I intend to see it through."
  • "I have the stomach and the balls to take this club forward."
  • "I think you're responsible for the things you say and I think I've been too honest at times."
  • "Whilst it is debatable that I am orange (I prefer tanned) the future is certainly bright."